Cardinals leadoff man enjoying career resurgence in Springfield


Springfield Cardinals manager Jose Leger remembers meeting Bryan Torres at spring training. “He goes, ‘Hopefully you won’t have me for more than one or two months because this year I’m playing in the big leagues,'” said Leger.

The team’s starting center fielder and leadoff hitter may not be in the major leagues yet, but it’s not for lack of production. He leads the Texas League in batting average, hits, and on-base percentage. “Everything he told me has been just as advertised,” Leger added.

Amazingly, Torres is the only player on this squad who was not the property of a major league organization last year. He hasn’t played for an affiliated team for the past two years. “Every time I woke up, the chances, it wasn’t (sic) coming,” said Torres.

Torres originally signed with the Milwaukee Brewers as a teenager in 2015. He was released after seven years as a catching prospect with the Brew Crew and the Giants. Torres had to convince someone else to take a chance on him. “Every morning, every time I woke up I said, ‘So if they didn’t sign me yesterday, I’ve got to do something great today to be picked up again,'” Torres said.

He sure did. First, he led an Independent league in batting average for two straight years.

He also dominated the Puerto Rican Winter League, twice earning MVP honors. He did all that while reinventing himself as a position player capable of playing both second base and center field. “You’ve got to give your 100% every day,” Torres said. “Because probably someone in the stands there is a guy that is looking for you,” Torres said.

It’s the Cardinals who found him. So when he says he’s playing in the big leagues they know better than to doubt him. “I told him, ‘I believe you,'” Leger said.

“All that struggle and all the hard times make me the player that I am today,” Torres added.

The Spring Cards feel lucky to have him for as long as he’s here.

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